Contributor: Flevian D'Costa
The Diocesan Youth Day (DYD), a gathering of young people is an opportunity to celebrate
and reflect on the theme of the World Youth Day given by the Holy Father. Chattogram Archdiocese organized this event on May 1-5, 2022 in Fatima Rani Catholic Church, Bandarban. We have witnessed the smile, joy and vibration of 148 young men coming from 11 parishes, 1 quasi-parish and 1 sub-parish. What a celebration it was of the youth gathered from 28,881 square kilometres of the diocesan territory!
The journey has begun with an opening Eucharistic celebration in which the national youth coordinator Father Bikash James Rebeiro, CSC was the main celebrant and the parish priest of Fatima Rani Catholic Church Father Binoy S. Gomes, CSC & the diocesan youth coordinator Father Pronoy Anthony Gomes, CSC were co-celebrants. The program was followed by an inauguration ceremony by lighting the candle both by the youth coordinators.
“This is my first visit to Bandarban. I am really fortunate to be a part of this DYD in Bandarban. The most touching event for me is the lecture of Father Ripon Rozario, SJ on ‘Listen to the heart with heart’. The DYD gave me an opportunity to know deeper about synod on synodality, WYD’s theme for 2023, friendship, etc.”
– Subho Eugene Goldar.
There were several topics for catechisms for which expert speakers were invited to conduct, 1. Our Journey with the Holy Spirit as a Church.- Mr. Manik Willver D’Costa, diocesan pastoral coordinator, 2. The sweetness of friendship comfort the soul. (Pro 27:9b)- Mr. Mickey Paul Gonsalves, the diocesan development coordinator; 3. Listen to the heart with heart.- Father Ripon Rozario, SJ; and 4. Mary arose and went with haste. (Lk 1:39)- His Excellency, Archbishop Lawrence Subrato Howlader, CSC.
There were a series of activities like small group discussions, exploring friendship, panel sharing and open discussion on various issues related to the universal and local Church in which the young people joyfully participated. Youth were divided into 5 groups and sent in exposure to Sangai, Sinai, Jordan, Antaha and Hatibhanga paras (tribal villages). In tribal parishes like Bandarban, the faithful reside in the villages on the slopes of the hills scattered over a vast area. These villages are locally known as para headed by a karbari (village chief).
In Chattogram Hill Tracts, every para is considered an active local Church. During the exposure, the young people witnessed the lifestyle and culture of the tribal Christian communities who made up more than half of the Catholic population of the diocese. Returning from the exposure the groups shared their learning and reflection.
Subho Eugene Goldar, a participant from St. Jospeh’s quasi parish said, “I have visited Sinai para along with my group members. I am surprised to see how the villagers have been suffering from the scarcity of water! They need to climb 1000 feet down and climb up again to collect water! I realized that we need to be much more responsible in using water when we go back to the city.”
Two prayer services of rosary and adoration of youth cross took place which was specially designed for the youth by Jesus Youth Bangladesh and BCSM Chattogram. The celebration came to an end with the closing Eucharist presided over by His Excellency, Lawrence Subrato Howlader CSC; the archbishop of Chattogram and also the chairman of the bishops’ conference commission for youth.
DYD-2K22 moments through the lens…